Last week, we brought you a short story by Daniel Okosun. His short stories are written in episodes. This is the Third part of the series. Enjoy…
Originally posted here: http://1mensays.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/pause-episode-2/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=48&relatedposts_position=1
PAUSE By Daniel Okosun
“…yeah, a great job you’re doing taking care of mommy. What do you know about love, daddy?”
His hands had moved rather fast when he dealt her left cheek two heavy slaps in quick succession, “I am your father,” he bellowed, “how dare you talk to me in that manner? How dare you? I gave you life, I put a roof over your head, it is my food that’s digesting in your worthless gut as we speak…” The last words had barely left his lips when the unthinkable happened, she had dealt him two slaps in return, one on his cheek, the other masked his entire face. Pereyi had reeled backwards and tripped over a side stool, losing consciousness for a few seconds. In his state of limbo, he had heard quick footsteps, then a door open and close.
“Bio,” The terrified yell had jerked him back to consciousness, “Bio!” He opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was his wife’s iro moving on the floor just by the door. He got to his feet as quickly as his 57 year old frame would permit and went after the iro. Afolashade was running out half naked as it was, the show of shame that had already happened indoors was enough, there was no need to make it a pay per view event. He picked the piece of cloth from the floor and caught up with his wife just before she got to the main exit. Restraining her and putting the wrapper round her waist was a task almost as laborious as the Israelites’ before the Exodus, but he succeeded in doing so anyway.
He had led Shade back inside and came out again, looking down the street to his left and right, the regular pot-pourri of activities which included roadside stalls, vehicular and human traffic as well as many others continued as it always had since he and his family moved in more than a decade and a half ago, but there was no sign of his daughter, Biomelebonye.
“She’s not picking the phone.” Shade had blurted out in tears when he entered the living room, “Where’s my daughter? Omo mi da, iwo olori buruku yi.” (Where’s my child you useless person). She threw the phone at him with the intention to hurt him, but he had snatched it out of midair and looked at the device, it was his. Calmly, he had put the phone in his pocket and walked into the bedroom.
“Oga Pereyi.” He jerked his head up from his thoughts, the first thing his eyes fell upon were her chest, they were full, they were inviting, and best of all, they were not Afolashade’s. “Oga Pereyi, I just came to remind you about the meeting we’ll be having at 9 this night, MD says it is super important.”
“Thank you, Rosemary.” Pereyi grunted and fixed his eyes on her rear as she went to change into her uniform. Loyalty to his marriage was something he never toyed with, but the present challenges at home were too much to bear. A job that could barely foot the bills, a nagging wife who never appreciated his sacrifices simply because her friends had one earring more than she did, a son who had traveled abroad and barely kept in touch, and now Bio who had just told him about her…
Suddenly, there was a loud rumbling sound, a sound like thunder that shook the windows of the building. He looked out the glass doors and noticed the orange hue in the skies as evening set in, there was no sign of rain. The power went out for a few seconds and came back.
“What was that?” Rosemary ran out of the changing room, still wearing her jeans but topless, with her bra on, and holding her uniform to her chest. When she got no reply, she turned and saw Pereyi staring at her, then she turned again and ran back to the dressing room, her discomfort announced itself as she went.
Checking the time now and looking out the glass doors, the orange sun peeked its last and disappeared, Pereyi wore his glasses and leaned back in his chair, watching television and waiting for the evening batch of patients to come in.
The seven o’clock news had barely started when a bewildered young man burst through the door to the reception. He had on combat shorts and an under vest that had blood stains on it, he was bleeding from an injury on his shoulder that seemed to have been caused by finger nails, very sharp finger nails that had dug in an inch too deep.
“My wife, she’s in labour, come quickly, please.”
Pereyi stared at him through grumpy uninterested bespectacled eyes. So what if she was in labour? At least she got married before getting knocked up, and she was married to a man. Bio wasn’t married but she was stupid enough to tell him that she had strong attractions towards her boss in her office, some woman named Jennifer, and what was worse? Jennifer felt the same way. How many abominations could he deal with in one day? If he hadn’t been on duty that night, he’d be hunting this Jennifer down with a blowtorch and chainsaw.
He stretched out and reached for a folder. Taking all the time in the world, he thumbed through the papers in it, every so often adjusting his glasses to keep them from falling off his nose, his mind in a billion places at once.
“Sir, my wife, she’s in labour.” The young man said again.
“My friend, you are in a hospital, stop raising your voice.” Pereyi said at the top of his voice.
“But you are…”
“Are you trying to teach me my job? Do I look foolish to you?” Pereyi asked, “Do you not see that I am trying to ensure that paperwork gets done? Where is the respect in the world today? My third child is about your age… I’m not surprised in any way, the whole lot of you—”
Before he could finish his statement, the young man who had been silent slammed his fist in the reception desk and threw a tantrum…
A few minutes later, some nurses were running down the hallway with a screaming woman in labour on a gurney and the insolent young man on their heels.
“Sir, we can’t let you in yet.” Rosemary’s voice floated to Pereyi from the door to the delivery room.
“You dare not keep my man away from me, you dare not.” The pregnant woman said and held on to the edge of the door like her life depended on it.
Rosemary continued, “You need to fill out some paperwork first, then it is up to you to stay by her side or outside—”
“He is staying by my side.” The woman yelled.
“Pereyi.” A baritone voice spoke.